Obama raises minimum wage for contract workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has increased the minimum wage for a few hundred thousand federal contractors -- and he's pressing Congress to pass broader legislation that would apply to all workers. Obama says, "It's the right thing to do."

During his State of the Union address last month, Obama first announced that he would sign an executive order to boost the wages of some contractors. He signed it today in a White House ceremony, flanked by Americans who would make more money if lawmakers were to take more sweeping action.

The executive order -- which raises the hourly wage from $7.25 to $10.10 -- applies only to a small percentage of the more than 2 million federal contractors. But officials hope it will generate momentum for Obama's proposal for a broader increase in the minimum wage.

Obama said the idea is "good for business, it's good for workers and it's good for the economy."

White House officials say they're working with lawmakers on a legislative strategy to tackle the issue this year. But it's not clear when a bill might be voted on, or whether it would pass.

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225-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Barack Obama)--President Obama has signed an order hiking the minimum wage for federal contract workers -- even as he presses Congress to act on the national base wage. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (12 Feb 2014)

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230-a-13-(President Barack Obama, speaking at signing of executive order raising minimum wage for some federal contract workers)-"cut this year"-President Obama says Americans should demand to know where their senators and congressional representatives stand on this. (12 Feb 2014)

<<CUT *230 (02/12/14)££ 00:13 "cut this year"

APPHOTO DCJM209: President Barack Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2014, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The wage increase to $10.10 an hour goes into effect next year, and applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (12 Feb 2014)

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